Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is not only one of the best players in NBA history, but he is also one of the game’s most respected players. It’s why over two years after his tragic death — along with his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others — NBA players still show their respect to Bryant on a frequent basis.
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson is one of today’s players that most relates to Bryant’s messages. Thomspon has a Los Angeles background, a historical connection to the Lakers, and a Mamba Mentality story of his own after coming back from two severe leg injuries.
So on Thursday night when Thompson passed Bryant on the NBA’s all-time made threes list, he quickly paid tribute to the late Lakers legend. Following the game, he spoke about Bryant’s impact and his thoughts on passing him on the three-pointers list, via the Warriors on NBCS:
“Always a huge honor. I mean, we miss him so much. He was one of one, and he’s my biggest inspiration for playing basketball. So we really miss him and Gigi.”
As someone who grew up watching his dad Mychal Thompson on the Lakers, Klay got a close look into Bryant’s greatness over his 20 years with L.A. Thompson’s Warriors played against the Lakers when Bryant got his two jerseys retired.
Bryant remains an inspiration for anyone who was able to watch the bulk of his Hall of Fame career. He’s a legend in the city of Los Angeles, and that doesn’t change for NBA players who have found themselves on different — or even rival — teams.
The Lakers legend is one of a few players whose impact can be easily spotted through today’s game. Many players have modeled their game after him, the way he did with Michael Jordan when he first got to the league in 1996.
NBA unveils All-Star MVP trophy
One of the ways in which the NBA decided to honor Bryant shortly following his death was by naming the All-Star Game MVP award after him. Recently, the league unveiled a new design for the official Kobe Bryant Trophy, awarded to the Kia All-Star Game MVP.
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